British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.
At a home for retired musicians, the annual concert to celebrate Composer Giuseppe Verdi's birthday is disrupted by the arrival of Jean (Dame Maggie Smith), an eternal diva and the former wife of one of the residents.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it's making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life, Sunaina (Tina Desai). Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy - posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tamsin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce, and are wondering where their regular dates for Chilla pancakes will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge (Celia Imrie) juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone's secrets. As ...Written by
There's a terrible risk with producing a sequel to a unique, quirky and successful movie. For want of a better cliché, it's flogging a dead horse.
This film confronted that risk and trounced it soundly. I was wondering how the heck the producers would manage it, and went to the cinema expecting to be disappointed at best and mildly annoyed at worst. But no. I left uplifted, happy and feeling as though I had wasted neither the time nor the ticket price.
The characters continue to develop. New characters are introduced but are generally given the chance to have their own back stories as well. The film genuinely manages to give the impression of being a candid look at the lives of a disparate bunch of people - their interactions, hopes, fears, prejudices and so on are all laid bare for us, as before, yet somehow it still manages to feel fresh.
There are real, proper laughs, some fantastic one-liners and some very well done moments of pathos. It's beautifully filmed and the big set-pieces are a delight.
In short it steps into the large boots of its predecessor, and fills them nicely. Go and see it.
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